Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 87 when she passed away. Greta Thunberg is 17 years old. Both are remarkable in their own ways. Fighters.
Most of us live relatively quiet lives, we vote, pay out taxes, get angry once in awhile, but we never step inside the ring. We leave the heavy lifting to others.
We watch television and read online information and are horrified at what we see. We get indignant and tell a few people.
If you take a poll, I bet most people would say the country is in trouble. Serious trouble. But if you asked each person to explain what the problem, the answers would be all over the spectrum.
A country cannot be successful if it is divided into “us” and “them”. If there is a hole in the boat, it does not matter which end is taking on water, the boat will sink. We have often been divided in this country, but not fractured like it is now. During our best times, we managed to work with those of different political views to solve problems and improve America.
Unfortunately, the prevailing notion is simply, winners and losers. The winners rule, the losers are conquered. That is not America. At our worst, the Civil War, the policy was to bring the country together after the war’s end, to rebuild and heal. This post-war period was tough, and the resulting wounds seem ingrained in our history. Today, we continue to deal with remnants of the Civil War and race.
There are a lot of people who want to fight. Look no further than recent protests. People came to fight. Even some cops showed up looking for combat. Require people to wear masks or not allow kids to play sports; flashpoints for anger and defiance. The teenage convenience store clerk has to battle the 300 pound gun-toting anti-masker. Soccer moms descend on a school board meeting with signs and war-like rhetoric.
We are a country of independence and fragmentation. We do not know when to unite and when to be individuals. We are forces playing tug-of-war with freedom.
There is no shortage of people who want to fight. People will fight about anything. The issues I may want to fight about are not those of someone else; or, they may want to be on the other side.
I think of Justice Ginsburg and Ms. Thunberg as examples of people who took on incredible battles, not because they were easy, but because they were hard, and important. You may not agree with their views, but you should take notice of their spirit and determination. We can all learn from that.